Texas Shooting


 

A lot of my friends will probably laugh at me, but here’s my theory on the recent Texas shooting:

Sin.

Adam and Eve had a perfect world; they screwed up, and sin entered the picture. You’re all familiar with the story of Cain and Abel, right? God told Cain that he preferred Abel’s gift, Cain got pissed off and killed his brother. Yes, over that.

So many folks want to pass more gun legislation—or enforce what we already have—because death, particularly many deaths at one place, is an emotional thing. No one wants to die and experience pain and horror, even if they expect to go to a better place; it’s not what happens after death, it’s dying. Loss is emotional, fear is one of the big four of emotions.

Some people blame guns, which is kind of odd given that they are inanimate objects; some blame mental illness; some blame pure evil or racism.

I’m telling you right now, it’s sin.

Those who want to legislate thoughts and feelings are those who believe man’s laws are the only thing that keep humans in check.

Ask yourself this: if murder were legal, as it is, say, in The Purge movie franchise, would you kill someone? Probably not. Why? Fear of laws? Punishment if you’re caught? Maybe some of both, but mostly because you know it’s wrong.

Not everyone knows that killing is wrong. That may be for any number of reasons, such as lack of empathy, never being taught right from wrong; perhaps even mental illness.

Sin is the reason.

And you can’t eradicate sin. Not possible. Only God can do that, and He chooses the time and the place. You can only put forth your own best effort, with the help of God; you cannot make anyone stop sinning in whatever form they choose.

I can tell you have questions. First, the answer to “what is The Purge?” It’s a movie, a series of movies actually, where the US has a new Congress and new laws and on one night each year, people are free to engage in mayhem in murder without any repercussions. Storyline aside, it’s quite horrifying.

Now, not all characters in the movies commit murder. In fact, quite a few, individually or within small groups, assist victims and set up medical stations and even rescue those who are fleeing the maniacs. But enough “normal” people participate that there’s quite a lot of carnage. When the sirens sound at the end of the 12-hour period, it’s over.

For some folks, man’s laws are all that matters. This is why so many criminals, regardless of chosen crime, continue to make attempts at circumventing those laws.

Sin.

What if you aren’t a Christian and don’t believe in God or sin? Think long and hard about this. You probably would agree that you have a conscience, because you know right from wrong. Where do you think that comes from? Whether you believe or not, it comes from God. We are all made in His image—and again, it doesn’t matter if you believe that or not.

People bemoan, constantly, about the state of the world these days and follow that with “what are we going to do about it?” You do what you can do, yourself, and help others as you are able, but you cannot eradicate sin, no matter how many laws you pass or even enforce.

Was this latest incident due to mental illness? Maybe. Maybe the shooter just thought it was a good idea; that doesn’t mean anyone agreed. Just like if you think you should do something but your friends disagree—that doesn’t mean you won’t do it.

Most people refrain from very bad things, such as a mass shooting, not because of a law or potential punishment, but because it’s wrong. Some people don’t do bad things simply because of a law or the chances of punishment, but some people do these same horrible things regardless—because of sin.

 

Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room


I read this morning that a Japanese company was now giving non-smokers six extra days off each year. Apparently, the non-smokers complained that they were working more that their co-workers who smoked, i.e., took smoke breaks.

Everyone knows the dangers of smoking. It’s not rocket science. The first Surgeon General’s report on smoking was in the 1950s and they say it’s worse for you now because there are more chemicals in cigarettes, along with the nicotine.

In the 1970s, the correlating danger of second-hand smoke was brought to the public’s attention and not long after that, one would be offered a choice of “smoking” or “non-smoking” in various venues. That was followed, naturally, of smokers claiming to be discriminated against.

I’ll say it straight out—it’s a bad habit. So are a lot of things. This one, however, does indeed effect everyone around the smoker at the time it’s being done. Overeating doesn’t; alcoholism doesn’t. While these habits may interfere with others’ rights at a later date, they are not so, if you will, “in your face.”

I know a lot of people who have had cancer; only one or two were smokers. The CDC lists the following causes of death in the US, annually:

•Heart disease: 633,842

• Cancer: 595,930

• Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 155,041

• Accidents (unintentional injuries): 146,571

• Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 140,323

• Alzheimer’s disease: 110,561

• Diabetes: 79,535

• Influenza and pneumonia: 57,062

• Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 49,959

• Intentional self-harm (suicide): 44,193

On another section of the CDC website, they attribute 480,000 deaths to smoking; this ranks smoking as Number 3. Certainly, you could argue that smoking doesn’t help any of these diseases or illnesses and may well cause some of them, but it’s not listed as its own, per se.

As an interesting side note, gun deaths by homicidal maniac aren’t listed at all . . .

But, as often, I digress. Let’s go back to Japan:

I’m a smoker. And I’m a lot more productive at a desk when I can smoke. If I’m thinking about when I can take a smoke break, or trying to get my brain to fire on all cylinders, I’m a lot less productive.

So I’m thinking, why not have a smoking section in the office? Surely Japan, of all places, could come up with a really good ventilation system. Smokers would probably double their productivity on the clock—heck, they might even end up being the ones to get the extra days off!